The finalists of the Ocean Awards have been revealed. Click through to see the finalists, with details of the category below.
The Local Hero Award finalists
This award recognises the individual or group that have taken the lead on globally-significant actions for the benefit of ocean health. The winner of this award will have shown consistent leadership and vision on ocean issues, going above and beyond others in their commitment to protecting marine life. This can include important policy initiatives and the people behind them.
Criteria: Nominees for this award must have a demonstrable track record of leadership on marine issues. They must either have initiated or taken a lead in influencing a globally-significant effort for the benefit of the ocean, or seen a significant milestone in a previously initiated effort.
The finalists are:
- Norlan Pagal, Anapog Fisherman’s Association
- Juan Carlos Cardenas, Ecoceanos, Fighting Chilean Fisheries Privatisation and Protecting Patagonia & Antarctic Chile from Salmon Aquaculture
- Absar Khan, Olive Ridley Project, Project Ghost Gear, Pakistan
- Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui, Community coalition, Easter Island MPA
Norlan Pagal, Anapog Fisherman’s Association
Norlan Pagal had landed in the crosshairs of local criminals for his quiet but relentless commitment to enforcing the rule of law in Tañon Strait, a long, narrow stretch of the sea in the Central Philippines. Tañon Strait is one of the Philippines’ richest fishing grounds and a priority conservation area for reef fishes and cetaceans - including dwarf sperm whales and dugongs. Over the last 15 years, Pagal has defended his village’s patch of ocean from scores of illegal fishers - surviving beatings, homemade explosives, and gunfights in the process.
Absar Khan, Olive Ridley Project, Project Ghost Gear, Pakistan
Absar Khan is a highly motivated and passionate individual. His dedication to marine conservation in Pakistan has resulted in a community driven change on waste management. His enthusiasm encourages people from all backgrounds to be a part of a movement to improve how we treat the environment for the better. Absar absolutely fits the criteria as a local hero in Pakistan!
Juan Carlos Cardenas, Ecoceanos, Fighting Chilean Fisheries Privatisation and Protecting Patgonia & Antarctic Chile from Salmon Aquaculture
Veterinarian, Juan Carlos is CEO of Chilean NGO Centro Ecocéanos for Conservation and Sustainable Development. For 38 years, he has led research, conservation and activism activities in Chile and internationally on marine biodiversity and marine mammal issues. Ecoceanos works to promote conservation and sustainable management of coastal and ocean ecosystems, the strengthening of public participation in decision-making and the sustainable development of artisanal fisheries and coastal communities. Ecoceanos encourages public engagement in issues affecting costal and ocean ecosystems both at the local level and worldwide.
Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui, Community coalition, Easter Island MPA
Te Mau o Te Vaikava o Rapa Nui has kept the issue of ocean protection and conservation at the forefront of the Rapa Nui's community dialogue for a long time. Their efforts included door-to-door campaigning, visiting over 2,000 households to educate community members about why the ocean around Easter Island should be protected. The organisation has also created an education program with school children and held several public events promoting the creation of a large marine protected area in Easter Island.